The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hometown stands by smut-scarred IIT boy

Kujju (Hazaribagh), Dec. 16: Raviraj Singh ' the name prompts immediate recollection at a coal colony here as the boy who got through to IIT Kharagpur.

As that name is dragged into a smut-on-Net scandal, the residents of the Central Coalfields Limited's New Colony are shocked. They believe he has been 'framed', a measure of the impression Raviraj left during his 12 years at the Kujju township in Hazaribagh.

Raviraj's father, Ramakant, an employee in the CCL regional stores, has left for Delhi. The IIT Kharagpur student was picked up by police on the campus on Tuesday and has been taken on a five-day transit remand to the capital.

The IIT has suspended him after police charged him with selling a video clip that shows two students of a Delhi school engaged in a sexual act on an Internet auction site.

'He can never do such a thing. And if you people keep on asking me the same question, I will commit suicide at this very place,' shouted Raviraj's grandmother when approached.

'We may not be very well off, but our children have always been taught good values. They would rather die than commit such a thing,' she howled. Teenaged Shashiraj quickly calmed her down and took her indoors.

Raviraj's grandmother and younger brother are the only ones left in their crumbling quarters here. His mother and two sisters are in Punjab, where they had gone to attend to an ailing uncle. As the scandal broke, Ramakant rushed to Delhi, leaving them behind.

'We are yet to understand any bit of the case. But whatever I have heard, I am very sure that my brother has been trapped,' said Shashiraj, a Class X student of the DAV Public School at Ara that Raviraj attended.

'He was always good in studies. He secured 80 per cent marks in his CBSE examinations. In 10+2, his results got better and he came out with 87 per cent marks. He always wanted to become an engineer. If you do not believe me, you can ask anyone here. He was never into any bad company. His record has always been very clean,' Shashiraj said.

Immediately after completing Plus II from the DAV school, Raviraj went to Allahabad to join a coaching centre for the IIT entrance examination. He cracked the tough test next year.

'It was a time for celebration. The entire colony was invited. But all the happiness is gone now,' he said.

In its place today are clouds of worry. Raviraj's younger sisters are yet to be married. 'The marriage of one of them is almost fixed. But with this case, no one knows what is going to happen,' Shashiraj said.

'My brother is innocent. Why are they bent on making our lives a living hell' The police should make proper investigations,' he pleaded.

Ramakant used to send Raviraj Rs 2,500 every month for his expenses.

'I think it was enough for him for he never asked for money. When he got admission in the institute, my father had to take a student loan. We are always going through some financial problem or the other. Life has always been hard. But we have faced it bravely,' Shashiraj said, regaining composure.

Raviraj, a fourth-year student of geophysics, wanted to go abroad. He got a passport, like all other students in the course. But later he realised he would be better off in India.

'The last time he visited was in Holi. And he was very normal. He said his studies were going on fine,' Shashiraj added.

To his friends, Raviraj was a 'great buddy' who could never have done such a thing. 'I remember him as a boy with heavy spectacles who always talked of becoming someone among many. He always dreamt big. It is a clear case of framing. He has not done anything,' said Aman Kumar, who runs a small business.

M.K. Sinha, the mathematics teacher of the DAV school, said: 'The news has made us jump from our seats. He kept a fairly low profile in school, but had a sharp mind. And he always proved it in the examinations. The boy can never do such a thing. We are sure of it. The management of IIT Kharagpur should think twice about their decision to rusticate him.'

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